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"Lollipop and Pearls" - Jared Kraft

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Surprised by God? God surprised?

There are no words to adequately describe the destruction Nashville and surrounding areas have experienced in the last few days with the “1000-year flood”…“h20 2010”…the natural disaster that occurred! Records have been set, like the most rain in a 24-hour period of time in recorded history of Nashville; the most rain in May in Nashville’s recorded history, etc. Statistics show that 90% of the people affected had no flood insurance. Why? Because flood insurance is not needed in the Nashville, TN. Area…at least not in most parts, unless otherwise identified as a “flood zone”! One lady who has carried flood insurance for years “just in case” was told by her insurance company at her last renewal date that she could no longer even purchase flood insurance —“it’s not needed where you live”! The strong storms blew in on Saturday evening and seemed to hover over our area; straight line winds, tornadoes, heavy rain…there were short spurts of quiet and calm, only to begin again. Sunday morning we lost power, cable, cell phone service…church closed due to power loss, and the prognosis was not good! We left home in an attempt to find safe accommodations. It took us over 3 hours and many detours to find a route that was NOT under water, was safe to drive through and had available accommodations. We left our family behind, much to our chagrin, as they thought the storms would surely cease! Later that afternoon my mom and one of our daughters joined my husband, son and me at Montgomery Bell State Park, where we finally found a room with 2 double beds. Our other daughter, son-in-law (who assisted their local fire department with his boat in rescuing many people to higher ground) and our 2 grandchildren were then stranded with no electricity or communication. So my husband left to attempt their rescue and 3+ hours later reached them; another almost 3 hours later they returned safely to the park. By midnight we had 9 people in one room: 2 adults and 1 child in each double bed; 2 roll away beds and another roll away bed mattress on the floor. And the rains continued!

Folks only had an approximate 30-minute warning to evacuate, due to the rapidly rising waters!
Unfortunately a few perished; many of our church family and friends lost their homes and all contents, memories, etc. Little national coverage was given; took over 2 days for the promise of help from our federal government; a few insurance companies conveniently “went out of business”; truly it was a natural disaster of epic proportions that this “Volunteer State’ has never seen! And, in true Tennessee fashion, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!” Volunteers abundant have taken time off work to assist people in gutting their homes…in providing food to the volunteers and victims…businesses have given their employees paid time off to assist in flood relief…schools have organized teams of students to go into the flood areas and serve others…oh if I only had time and space to share the countless stories already being told about Jesus with skin on through young and old, male and female, black and white! Another reminder of why I am proud to be an American and, more specifically, a Tennessee American!

Now…I’m sure there will be other posts on my blog about the good that will continue coming out of this “bad situation”…’twill likely be a while as I will have surgery today and unable to be on the computer much, if at all, until I heal.

However, in the event that anyone reading this wonders where God was in this “surprise”, I want to share my perspective! God was there all the time; He is there right now; and He will be there always! God was, and is, and is to come! He never moves! He KNEW about this flood BEFORE the foundation of the earth! It did not surprise Him….just as the multitude of earthquakes recently did not surprise Him, nor did the volcanic eruptions in Iceland surprise Him…the hurricanes never surprise Him! God is not surprised by any of this! God is sitting on His throne, where He has always been and always will be! Could He have stopped this flood! He ABSOLUTELY could have! Yet, He did not! Does that mean He does not love us or care about us? NO! He loves us far more than we can ever imagine! Does this mean He wants us to suffer? ABSOLUTELY NOT! It is never His plan for any of us to suffer! Can He…will He…bring ANY good from this! He absolutely will! His Word promises that “He causes all things to work together to those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose” (italics and bold mine). We may not see the good now (although I do not have to look far to find good!); we may not easily identify the “good” for a while (the painful reality of loss takes its toll)…”BUT GOD”…(remember my 2 favorite words?) promises to never leave us nor forsake us; He promises “to be with us alway, even until the end of the age”; He sees, He knows, He understands.

And I believe (here’s where I am potentially opening a can of worms, but that is ok) that God is trying yet again to get the attention of believers and non-believers alike: for believers, I believe God is reminding us that He will come “like a thief in the night” and we WILL be surprised! But… will we be ready? For the non-believer, I believe He is quietly shouting that He wants that none should perish, that no one is promised tomorrow and that the time to make the decision to follow Him as Lord and Savior is NOW!

These types of events catch us off guard, or surprise us, if you will. His return will occur; yet not even the Son of God knows when! We will be surprised by Christ’s return if we are alive when that time comes. But… will we be ready?

Folks were not ready for this storm on many fronts; they were caught off guard and completely by surprise. Homes can be rebuilt; “stuff” can be replaced; new memories can be made. However, death cannot be reversed~our life can be blotted out in the blink of an eye! We only have this moment to make a decision for eternity. No one can make it for us; no one can make us MAKE the decision. ‘BUT GOD” has promised us eternal life or eternal death based on that one decision. Once death in the flesh occurs the decision cannot be made or changed! It’s a done deal!

My prayer is that those of us who are followers of Christ will be strengthened in our faith through this tragedy and will resolve to take nothing for granted heretofore. I also pray we will grasp the opportunity to share the Good News in a seemingly bad news situation to those who don’t profess Him as Lord and Savior! We are called to plant seeds, and leave the rest to Him. We’ll survive…together!

1 comment:

Janet said...

I am glad that you are safe. My prayers are with everyone that are affected.

Your post is great. God is not surprised at anything. Thank you for reminding me of that.

Janet Cowan